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Archives and Special Collections: Visiting us in person

Make an Appointment

If you would like to see an item from our collections please use one of the following online forms to make an appointment. 

Please do not book or attend an appointment if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19), or if you have been asked to self-isolate.


Ask DULib

Contact us through our enhanced virtual enquiry desk, Ask DULib. Search our FAQs, email us, or chat with a librarian. 
Ask DULib is available to all students, staff and users.

Ask DULib, Library Help

Research access to the collections

On-site access to the Archives and Special Collections within our three sites (Palace Green Library, Ushaw College Library and 5 The College) is available from 12th July for both members of Durham University and external researchers.  You will need to make an appointment, using one of our online booking forms as listed above, and spaces will remain limited to ensure social distancing.

You will need to pre-request all the books and documents you wish to see before visiting. The online booking form will prompt you for this information.  Please submit your appointment request at least three working days in advance.

Please do not book or attend an appointment if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19), or if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Information on remote access to the collections in our care is available at the following pages:

For further information on our sites and services, see the guide to University Library and Collections and Partner Library sites:

If you have arranged or been given a specific arrival time, please arrive as close to that time as possible. 

Please do not visit if you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19. If you develop any of these symptoms whilst on-site, you will be asked to leave.

You will need to wear a face covering at all times when you are in the building, unless you are unable to do so.

We will have social distancing and hygiene measures in place.  Please follow all the requests by staff members as they are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible.  Staff will keep a record of your visit (arrival and departure time and a contact number). This information may be passed to the NHS Test and Trace programme, if we receive a notification and request for information.   User information recorded for test and trace purposes will be kept securely for 21 days and destroyed confidentially after that time. It is managed completely separately to our normal reader registration process.

Search room rules are displayed on site, as well as guidelines for users.

You will need to bring with you a face covering, your own pencil (and sharpener) and/or laptop/tablet. You can also bring into the Search Room your own notes and your own books, within reason, and can use silent, hand-held cameras or 'phones to photograph most material, on request. There are lockers available for coats and bags. Food and drink are not permitted in the building.

Wifi is normally available for members of the University or those registered with Eduroam, and as a self-registering public service.

We will be operating with very reduced staffing, for your safety and ours. Please bear this in mind.  We will try and help you make the best use of your visit and to help as much as we can before you arrive.

Further information for visiting Palace Green Library

All colleagues, students, visitors, contractors and members of the public are required to wear a face covering inside all University buildings (unless an individual is exempt from wearing one due to a medical condition). This includes when seated at a study desk.

All other safety measures should also continue to be followed, including social distancing measures of 2 metres.

Please review the World Health Organisation’s guidance on the safe use of face coverings

By foot from Durham Market Place
  • This is a walk of 0.2 miles or an approximate 5 minutes.
  • Head in the direction of Saddler Street, passing a fish and chip shop on your right-hand side. 
  • The road will divide, stay to the right and walk up the hill. 
  • Continue until you reach Owengate on your right-hand side and take this cobbled street.
  • You will now be on Palace Green, follow the path around to your right and Palace Green Library will be in front of you, between the Castle and Cathedral.  
Arriving by public transport
  • If you arrive in Durham by train or bus, the easiest and most convenient way to reach Palace Green Library is by using the Cathedral Bus which stops directly outside Palace Green Library.  
  • This bus stops in the Market Place, in front of the Boots store. If you have parked in the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre car park, walk straight ahead through the shopping centre from the cark park and you will come to this bus stop on your left as you enter the Market Place. 
There is no parking available at Palace Green Library. Parking is available within a 5-10 minute walk of Palace Green Library.  
Walking from Prince Bishops Shopping Centre 
  • From the car park, exit via the pedestrian access route to Prince Bishops Shopping Centre. Turn left and walk through the Shopping Centre until you reach Saddler Street. 
  • Turn left onto Saddler Street and follow the road as it heads up hill.  Take the first turn on the right into Owengate. Owengate leads onto Palace Green, the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • Follow the path around to your right and Palace Green Library will be in front of you, between the Castle and Cathedral. 

Please see our Accessibility and Support Guide for further information.